Office of Community Partnerships Header    

Office of Community Partnerships - Community Engagement Cluster 

June 2012
, Issue 50

join Join the Office of Community Partnerships Team  

This month, we will hire several new employees to strengthen the Office of Community Partnerships/ Community Engagement Cluster team. Mier Wolf will be retiring from his leadership role in getting Montgomery County's Sister Cities program launched, and we will be hiring a part-time Senior Fellow to replace him. This August, a whole new crew of AmeriCorps members will join our team in a variety of exciting positions throughout the Community Engagement Cluster. The Senior Fellow and AmeriCorps positions are all only modestly compensated, but they are great opportunities to serve and help us build a stronger and more inclusive and equitable community here in Montgomery County. If you or someone you know is interested, please send me an email and I will provide more details:  

HERITAGEMark your Calendar and Save the Dates for Heritage Days 2012  
Saturday, June 23 & Sunday, June 24heritage engine

Sponsored by the Heritage Tourism Alliance of Montgomery County (Heritage Montgomery), this year's Heritage Days Weekend will feature 32 sites around Montgomery County open FREE from noon to 4pm each day with a focus on history, outdoor recreation, family activities, music ... and fun! 

Check the Heritage Montgomery website,, for detailed information on the 15th annual celebration!

Heritage Montgomery, located in Germantown, is dedicated to promoting and supporting heritage tourism to county historical, cultural and natural areas, helping them tell their stories and attract visitors to their sites.
DirectorMessage from the Director:

What Will it Take to Become the

Nation's Most Welcoming Community?  

Bruce Adams

Director, Office of Community Partnerships


Our mission at the Office of Community Partnerships (OCP) is to help Montgomery County become the nation's most welcoming community. County Executive Ike Leggett established the OCP to help him fulfill his promise to build a bigger and more inclusive policy table. We envision a culture of civic service that dramatically increases the number and diversity of residents who volunteer their time, talent, and treasure to build a stronger and more inclusive community.


You can imagine my delight when I came upon Karl Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac's new book, Pax Ethnica: Where and How Diversity Succeeds (PublicAffairs, 2012). Concerned that the media focus almost exclusively when cultures clash, this journalistic couple set out to study diversity's success stories. You'll want to read this book. The lessons from India (Kerala), Russia (Tatarstan), France (Marseille), Germany (Flensburg), and the United States (Queens) are consistent with what we are trying to do here in Montgomery County. Reading about what works and doesn't work in these communities and thinking about what we might or might not be able to adapt here are the fun of this book.


I am very excited to report that we are building a great new team to organize this year's World of Montgomery Festival. So hold this date on your calendar: Sunday October 21 from noon to 5 p.m. in the heart of Wheaton. This is the kind of activity that builds relationships across cultures and helps us move toward our audacious goal of becoming the nation's most welcoming community. If you have some time and talent and would like to join our team, please send me an email:


Enjoy your summer! 

 cgaAnnouncing the Newly Revised Common Grant Application

Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG) is pleased to announce the launch of the revised Common Grant Application (CGA), Common Letter of Inquiry (LOI), and Common Grant Report, as well as updated versions of the CGA User Guide and the LOI User Guide. The revised forms are intended to better meet the needs of funders, while lessening the burden on nonprofit organizations and allowing them to better describe their work. Thanks to the valuable input of WRAG members and representatives of the region's nonprofit organizations who recommended, reviewed, and tested the changes, the new versions of the forms are simpler and less redundant.


The previous versions of the Common Grant Application will remain online until August 31, 2012 in order to ensure a smooth transition.


Funders: Please be sure to update any links on your website to the new CGA when you are ready to begin accepting it. If you wish to be included in the list of funders who accept the CGA and are not currently listed, please contact  Rebekah Seder.


Grantseekers: If you are interested in learning more about the changes, the Foundation Center will host informational sessions on June 11 and June 20, with Miyesha Chappell of the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, who co-chaired the CGA Streamlining Committee. Register here.  

 midcountySupporting Families in Mid-County:
A Regional Conversation with Nonprofits  
There are over 700 nonprofit organizations in the Mid-County region. The Mid-County Regional Center for Montgomery County Government wants to learn more about each of these nonprofits and the work they do to strengthen Mid-County and  better understand the opportunities and challenges in supporting families in this community.  

Attend this first regional conversation with nonprofits to be held on:
Wednesday, June 13th from 1pm to 3pm
Mid-County Community Center
2004 Queensguard Road
Silver Spring, MD 20906

This FREE event will allow participants to share their expertise, ideas, solutions and resources that can maximize the positive impact in Mid-County. The event will include breakout sessions for topics including economic development, services, mental health, and education.  It will also be a unique networking opportunity to meet nonprofits within your community.


 caribJune is National Caribbean American Heritage Month

The Montgomery County Executive's Caribbean American Advisory Group invites you to the 2012 Summit on Jobs and Business Development. The theme for this year is "Vibrant Communities for a Vibrant County." The Advisory Group has focused on organizing a job fair while encouraging community members to explore ways to start business in Montgomery County.

Job fair for the unemployed and under-employed 

Friday, June 15, 2012, 3:00 - 8:00 PM
Reception: 7:00 - 8:00 PM
Caribbean Heritage Month Proclamation
by County Executive Isiah Leggett 7:00 PM

Silver Spring Civic Building, 1 Veterans Place, Silver Spring MD 20910 

allstateAllState Award  

On May 2, 2012, Venice Mundle-Harvey was recognized at the AllState awards and
recognition program that rewards agents for volunteerism in their communities. Venice, an Exclusive Agent in Gaithersburg, has faithfully served on the County Executive's Caribbean American Advisory Group for the past three years and continues to serve the Montgomery County community through her Church, collecting food for Manna Food, sponsoring community events and creating opportunities for many in the community. We are proud of her accomplishments! 

Pictured are Stacy Sharpe-Capital Region, Field Vice President, Venice Mundle-Harvey, Dave Prendergast-Capital Region, Field Senior Vice President. 

 ethiopiaCome to Ethiopia and Celebrate Montgomery-Gondar
Sister City Official Signing Ceremony  

Plans are being made for the Sister City trip to Gondar, Ethiopia in September 2012. Please contact Daniel
Gondar's 17th Century Royal Castle     
Koroma,, if you would like to be a part of this momentous occasion. Gondar is a royal and ancient historical city of Ethiopia. It is the home of many emperors and princesses who led the country from the 12th century to the last decade of the 20th century.

Debre Bihran Selassie: 17th-18th Century wall paintings

Downtown Gondar shows the influence of the Italian occupation of the late 1930s. The main piazza features shops, a cinema, and other public buildings in a simplified Italian Moderne style. The town is also home to Gondar University, which includes Ethiopia's main faculty of medicine. The Sister City trip is scheduled for September 23 to October 2, 2012 with opportunities to visit many historic places while working with local community members of Sister City projects.  

communityMaking Montgomery County
"A Community for a Lifetime"

County Executive Ike Leggett reaffirmed his continuing commitment to making Montgomery County "A Community for a Lifetime" as reflected in the Senior Agenda, proposed by the County's Commission on Aging. He cited the "Senior Initiative" Funding proposed in the FY13 budget as a down payment on the specific programs to address the growing senior population. The Maryland Department of Planning projects that between 2000 and 2020 the senior population (age 60 and over) in Montgomery County will increase by 74%.   The Executive indicated that County Departments will take actions each year to advance the Agenda.  The Executive was joined by Uma Ahluwalia, Director of the Department of Health and Human Services and Gabe Albornoz, Director of the Recreation Department.
George Leventhal, Chair of the Council's Health and Human Services Committee represented the County Council and indicated the council is in support of the agenda.  Judy Welles, Chair of the Commission on Aging, applauded the Executive and Council for demonstrating their commitment to the needs of our senior population. 
The goals of the agenda are: 
Transportation when they need it and where they want to go 
Affordable housing and choices of dwelling; 
Public health programs that promote physical and mental health; 
Recreational opportunities for physical and mental fitness and social interaction; 
Recognizable, understandable, timely and accessible information on County programs; 
Promoting the value of older workers and stimulating jobs for them; 
Providing physical, financial and technological protection and safety. 
breakfast Banking on Change Breakfast
Join us for LEDC's First Annual Banking on Change Breakfast

June 19, 2012  |  8 - 10:30am
At the Pavilion Room in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004

Come bright and early to celebrate and explore the ways the banking sector can be an agent for change in low income communities in the Washington Metropolitan Area.   We look forward to a keynote address from Mr. Stuart Ishimaru, head of the newly established Office of Minority and Women Inclusion at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

We will bring together regional and national banks, community partners, and those who wish to understand the role that banks play in asset building.  We hope to see you there!

Click here to purchase tickets.

Click here for sponsorship information.
 MCPSMontgomery County Public Schools Announces Opening
The position of the Chief Engagement and Partnership Officer has been posted. The link is here.
salvadorGovernment of El Salvador Recognizes
Montgomery County's Sister Cities Program
County Executive Isiah Leggett recently met with a visiting Salvadoran delegation and local officials to accept a recognition for the Sister City Program with El Salvador.  Pictured are:  Salvadoran Ambassador Francisco Altschul, Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez, County Executive Isiah Leggett, Maryland Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez, and Sister Cities El Salvador Committee President, Neftali Granados.    The event was held at the Ana G. Mendez University located in Wheaton, MD.  Several residents (Salvadoran and non-Salvadoran) spoke about the significance of the program in uniting these two communities. Bruce Adams spoke about the importance of the program as a community engagement tool with the Salvadoran community in Montgomery County. Several groups are organizing trips to El Salvador including the El Salvador Executive Committee, Movermoms (, and Montgomery County Habitat for Humanity ( Learn more about these travel opportunities by visiting their websites and about the Montgomery County Sister Cities program at
ssasemGilchrist Center for Cultural Diversity & the Social Security Administration Announce a Seminar to be Conducted in Spanish: Social Security and Hispanics
Why attend this seminar:     
.       Social Security provides benefits to more than 56 million people and about 41% of income for retirees.
.       Social Security provides more benefits for retirement
Why is social security important for Hispanics:
        Hispanic workers have lower earning than the rest of the population
        Hispanic workers have a longer life expectancy than the rest of the population.

Date:                                          Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
Time:                                          12:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Location:                                    Wheaton Library
                                                  11701 Georgia Avenue,1st Floor
                                                  Wheaton, Maryland 20902                                                          
For more information call:  Diana Varela al (877) 512-3848 ext. 20861.
habitatSupport Montgomery County's Sister Cities Program by Traveling to El Salvador with Habitat for Humanity July 21st - 29th
Have you ever wanted to go to a faraway land to experience something new and do something special? You can do just that this summer with Habitat for Humanity's Global Village program in El Salvador! No special construction skills or language abilities are required for this adventure-just a positive attitude, and a desire to help others. If this sounds like a plan, visit
rainRainScapes Rewards Rebates Still Available
Residents and Businesses Urged to Apply for Eligible Projects that Reduce Stormwater Runoff

The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) offers technical and financial assistance to encourage property owners to install eligible RainScapes techniques. Funding is available for the RainScapes Rewards rebate program and property owners are encouraged to apply. RainScape techniques include rain gardens, conservation landscapes, canopy trees, green roofs, permeable pavements, rain barrels, cisterns and dry wells. RainScapes projects create environmentally-friendly landscapes that reduce runoff to local streams and save money on maintenance.  Those interested in the rebate program are encouraged to submit their applications by June 30 when funding for fiscal year 2012 ends.

To qualify for rebate funds, DEP approval prior to installation is required for all projects, except rain barrels.  Approved projects should be completed within six months.

DEP's online RainScapes manuals help property owners assess a property for rainscape project suitability; design, plan and install a rainscape; and estimate cost and maintenance requirements. The manuals are available at
rapMontgomery County's Rental Assistance Program (RAP) will Open for Enrollment June 4-22, 2012
The County Rental Assistance Program is a Montgomery County funded program to help low-income households meet their monthly rental expenses. Assistance is available to legal residents who are disabled, elderly or households of two or more.  Eligible customers can receive $50 to $200 per month towards their rental costs.

To apply, a completed pre-application must be postmarked, hand delivered, faxed or emailed June 4-22, 2012.  All households applying during this time period will be placed on a waiting list and randomly selected when openings in the program occur.  Customers can call 240-777-4400 to receive a pre-application or can download it from our website.

Check here for more information.
compet Women's Business Plan Competition
The StartRight! Women's Business Plan Competition is in the 9th year. The competition is designed to give new businesses a boost with cash prizes and publicity. In addition, the businesses have an opportunity for review and recommendations from an experienced panel of judges from area businesses, financial institutions, organizations, government agencies and colleges.

To be eligible, the business must be at least 51 percent women owned, be in business for two years or less (or even pre-operational) in DC, Maryland or Virginia. The deadline for the executive summary is June 6 and June 15 for the entire plan.

For the complete rules, see
APAICSAsian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies Gala
APAICSPresident Obama Delivers Keynote Address at the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies Gala

In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, President Barack Obama delivered the keynote address at the 18th Annual Gala for the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) in Washington, DC on  May 8th, 2012.  This marks the first time since 1996 that a President of the United States addressed the Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) Community at a national event.

The President's remarks highlighted the accomplishments of the AAPI community, addressed the model minority myth, and were well-received by the crowd.  The President also stressed his commitment to the AAPI community.  In attendance were over 1,000 community leaders and members including Congressman Mike Honda, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Senator Danny Inouye, and Jacqueline Nguyen, the first Asian American woman confirmed as a federal appellate judge.

Watch the video or read the full speech.
scupRegister Your Organization for a Resource Table at the SCUP Conference 
On September 28th, 2012 at the University of Maryland-Shady Grove, the Montgomery County Public Schools will hold its 13th Annual Schools & Communities United in Partnership Conference, from 8 AM -12:30 PM.

The theme will be "The Impact of Poverty on Our Children." The Conference Committee chose this special theme due to the rising rates of poverty among children and families in our community. The resource fair will focus on anti-poverty programs; and we would love for your organization to participate and to highlight the good work you do for vulnerable citizens.

Our conference is attended by over 300 school counselors, school psychologists, PPWs, school administrators, and human services professionals. Your table at our resource fair will help school professionals make effective referrals to community agencies.

Please save this date and email to reserve your resource table. More information will be forthcoming in the summer.
probonoTip of the Month from Bar Association Pro Bono Program  
Do you know someone who needs legal assistance?

The Montgomery County Bar Association Pro Bono Program assists low-income residents of Montgomery County, Maryland obtain free legal representation. Volunteer private practice attorneys provide free legal guidance and/or representation in the areas of absolute divorce, custody, name changes, adoption/guardianship, landlord/tenant matters, bankruptcy/debt collection matters, wills, powers of attorney, and in limited circumstances immigration and employment cases. See brochures for locations throughout Montgomery County.

Please visit the webpage for more information and to download their brochure.
In English:
In Spanish:
whitehouseWhite House Hispanic Community Action Summit 

Who? Senior Obama Administration officials from diverse policy areas connecting with Community leaders, business owners, and other stakeholders to discuss issues critical to the Hispanic community, Maryland, and the nation.  

What? The White House Hispanic Community Action Summit is an innovative open space dialogue where participants work together to define the agenda and shape outcomes. The summit is free and open to the public.  

When? Saturday, June 16 , 2012, 8:30am - 4:00pm

Where? Montgomery Blair High School
51 University Boulevard East
Silver Spring, MD 20901

Click to register.
energyhomeWorkshop on Energy Efficiency in Your Home 
Silver Spring Green (SSG), in partnership with Green Wheaton, will be holding a workshop on Energy Efficiency in Your Home.  We hope that you will join us for an engaging forum that will focus on ways to save energy in your home, improve comfort in winter and summer, and reduce your energy bills.

Monday, June 4th from 6:30 to 8:00 pm
Mid-County Regional Services Center
2424 Reedie Drive
Wheaton, MD 20902

Click here to register for the workshop
 tiaTechnology Innovation Awards
Apply online for the 501cTECH 2012 Technology Innovation Awards
Deadline is June 25.
Details are on the website.
jenkinsWashingtonian presents awards to Suzan Jenkins for the work of  Nonprofit Energy Alliance
Jenkins The Washingtonian magazine celebrated winners of the fifth annual Green Awards, presenting Award to Suzan Jenkins for the work of  Nonprofit Energy Alliance among others.

Suzan Jenkins, CEO of the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County, admits she'd never used "kilowatt" in a sentence before council member Roger Berliner challenged her to come up with an idea to help grantees handle ballooning energy costs.

Jenkins contacted a colleague at Nonprofit Montgomery, and the two met with Eric Coffman of the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection. Their discussion led to a light-bulb moment: What if nonprofits banded together to buy energy at a volume discount?

The Nonprofit Energy Alliance, launched in May 2010, has helped 50 local organizations save a combined $366,000 on electric bills. The coalition chose to buy its energy from Clean Currents, a local provider that gets energy from wind power.

The alliance is a joint effort of the Montgomery Arts & Humanities Council, Nonprofit Montgomery, and the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington. Not only are the participating groups using green energy, but they have more resources to provide services at a time when funding sources are harder to find.
 stemCongresswoman Edwards to Host Forum, "Blastoff! Encouraging Young People to Enter and Stay in the STEM Fields"
June 6, 2012, 8:45am to 1:30pm

Capitol Hill, 2168 Rayburn House Office Building (Gold Room)

Speakers will discuss how we can work together to find and form STEM talent, build the STEM workforce, and form successful models and partnerships.  Seating is limited and luncheon will be served, so RSVP to with STEM FORUM in the subject line.

Any questions, please contact Selena Mendy Singleton at (301) 562-7960 or

View the event flyer here.

transitTransit Task Force Releases Recommendations to

Establish 160-Mile Rapid Transit System in Montgomery County

The Montgomery County Transit Task Force today presented its recommendations to Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett for establishing a 160-mile, innovative, "best-in-class" rapid transit system that creates a comprehensive transit network.  The Task Force is recommending that the system be built in three phases over the next nine to 20 years to mitigate both construction and affordability issues. 

The full report is available online.
campsSummer Camps
Montgomery County Recreation and M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks offer a diverse line-up of summer camps.
A full list of camps can be accessed online.
americoAmeriCorps Positions

Spend a year of service supporting the work of the Community Engagement Cluster within Montgomery County Government.  Positions available in Germantown, Wheaton, Silver Spring, Rockville and East County. Work with a County Regional Center Director, serve as Site Coordinator for a Gilchrist Center satellite office, help with community building events, provide citizenship assistance or manage the Volunteer Language Bank. Job descriptions available upon request.


AmeriCorps, often called America's "Domestic Peace Corps," was founded in 1993. AmeriCorps members serve one-year assignments. Members receive a living stipend, health insurance, an education scholarship, training, and a life-enriching experience.  To be eligible to enroll in AmeriCorps, an individual must: 

  • be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national or a lawful permanent resident alien of the U.S.;
  • be at least 18 years old;
  • have a high school diploma or GED.

Interested in learning more?  Please contact Kaori Hirakawa at or by calling 240-777-4958.

CalendarCommunity Calendar
roundThe Nonprofit Roundtable Holds Annual Meeting
The Nonprofit Roundtable Annual Meeting features "The End of Big: Opportunities for Nonprofits at the Intersection of New Technology and Social Movements" on Thursday, June 14, 2012 8:30AM to12:00PM. 
For more information.
walkBegin Your Journey to Wellness 
Health Freedom: A Path to Wellness
3.75 Mile Walk
Saturday, June 16, 2012

African American Historic Trail
Isreal Park (located behind Lincoln Park Community Center)
357 Frederick Avenue, Rockville, MD 20850

Check-in & Registration begin at 8:00am
Program and Walk begin at 9:00am
Register by June 4th to receive a free gift!

Visit to download and mail-in a registration form.
For more information, call the African American Health Program at 301-421-5445
gilchristclassClasses at Gilchrist
Ongoing Citizenship class Thursdays 6 to 8, Gilchrist Center-Wheaton Library First Floor

Tuesday Citizenship class Tuesdays 6 to 8 Ends July 17th, Gilchrist Center-Wheaton Library First Floor

Saturday English class Saturdays 10:15 to 12:00, Gilchrist Center-Wheaton Library First Floor
 whiteoakWhite Oak Community Recreation Center
Dedication Ceremony for the
White Oak Community Recreation Center
1700 April Lane
Silver Spring, Maryland 20904
June 23, 2012 - 11:30 am
sisterMontgomery Sister Cities Board Meeting 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 @ 6 p.m.

1. Preliminary action: Chinese Sister City

2. Discussion: Beit Shemesh-Mateh Yehuda

Rockville Memorial Library

21 Maryland Avenue, Suite 330

Rockville, MD 20850

 interfaithInterfaith Works 40th Anniversary Gala
Save the date for the Interfaith Works 40th Anniversary Gala - October 11, 2012 at 6:30

View the flyer. 

womfWorld of Montgomery Festival 
October 21, 2012, noon - 5 pm
Wheaton Triangle, Grandview Ave. & Reedie Dr.
Free Admission
Entertainment, Food, Crafts, Health Fair
Forward to a Friend

Join Our Mailing List